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Phinda Wildlife Research Project: 28 November - 12 December 2023*
Double trouble at Khulula
Khulula has just had an exciting new arrival: Bobby the white rhino calf.
Bobby was found in a private wildlife reserve near the Swaziland border. The reserve owner’s little Scottish terrier went into the bush – and came back with a rhino calf in tow!
Sadly, it turned out that Bobby’s mum had died, and Bobby had stayed with his dead Mum for at least five days, judging by the condition of the rhino mother’s carcass. Five days without his mother’s milk and love is an incredibly long time, and this left Bobby both half-starved and desperate for company.
Rhino babies of Bobby’s age usually are very mummy-oriented, and with losing his mum, Bobby was ready to imprint on another companion. So when the little terrier came along, Bobby promptly decided that he found his saviour and followed him like a little dog himself!
The reserve managers did their best to look after the emaciated rhino calf. He needed a lot of care, food and love – and fortunately soon found a new friend: Billy the goat.
Billy and Bobby soon became an inseparable duo. Unfortunately, Bobby’s previous ordeal had left him quite weak and with a bad case of diarrhoea though, so despite their best efforts, the care for him proved to be beyond the abilities and experience of the reserve managers. Much to the delight of the current volunteers, they called Khulula for help, and Bobby made the move up to Khulula – with Billy in tow of course!
Bobby will hopefully continue to thrive and recover with the help of the volunteers and his bleating friend!